Out with a bar, in with a deli.
McAlister's Deli has replaced The Station Bar and Grill at the University Commons plaza across from UCF.
The newest location for the fast-casual restaurant chain opened its doors on Oct. 26. McAlister’s offers a menu with a variety of handcrafted sandwiches, baked potatoes, salads, soups and desserts.
“We’re fresh prepared every day,” restaurant owner Stacey Kelly said. “All of our produce is delivered several days [throughout] the week and it’s cut fresh every morning.” she said. “You can get any bread that you want with any sandwich. We want our guests to get [their sandwich] any way they want it.”
General manager Jarod Thompson added that the eatery does not have a tipping policy. “We want people to come in and get [good service]...without the pressure of having to leave a tip,” he said.
Though the restaurant doesn’t require customers to tip, Kelly said many of the guests leave tips anyway. Rather than keeping the money, the restaurant donates any tips left behind to charity. Every quarter, the tips are donated to charities that provide nourishment to those who need it.
McAlister’s is currently looking to support a student organization at UCF that works closely with charities that provide for people’s most basic needs. Once a choice is made, McAlister’s will donate some of the money earned from tips to the chosen student organization to help with its charity.
“My heart and desire is to meet people’s basic needs,” Kelly said. “We’re a restaurant, so we like to feed people,” she said.
Eric Gutierrez is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @atticus_adrift or email him at EricG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.